Because I grew up in rural Wisconsin but now live super far away in Minnesota, whenever I travel through my home state and smell the very familiar and almost literal “dairy air” scent, I instantly feel I’m home again and get a wave of nostalgia. The smell of hay and horses, dairy cattle (aka manure), dirt, or pretty much any other organic smell associated with farms prompts me to take a deeper inhale. Some of you may think it’s gross, but I know there will be a few of you reading this nodding your head and smiling in understanding.
So when the opportunity arose to be able to spend a weekend with 80-some horses, you could say I was a little excited. You mean I get to spend 3 days surrounded by one of the best-smelling creatures on this earth?? Oh, yeah I am 100% in.
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A few weekends back, I photographed the Mayflower I & II dressage competition at Otter Creek Farm. Nestled in the rolling hills of Wheeler, Wisconsin, this place is a haven for horse-lovers.
While it has been years since I have taken riding lessons, it has thankfully only been a couple months since I have been on a horse (although that’s too long of a time too) so for me this weekend was a chance to get back to my childhood. So many magnificent horses walking here and there, warming up in the ring, neighing at their friend or crush walking by, and chomping down on as much grass as their bit would let them. Mother Nature gifted us with near-perfect weather, everyone I met was so kind and helpful if I had any questions, oh, and there were plenty of puppers around to pet.
I, of course, took way too many photos and it was so hard to narrow down which ones to post! You can find some competition selections here but here you will find more of the in between moments which are my favourite kind.
Thanks again to Brandi, Lena and Mark, the riders, the volunteers, and every last spectator and doggo who made this weekend wonderfully memorable.